TikTok is no doubt the fastest-growing social media, leaving so much creative room for creators and commercial opportunities for brands. Everyone on TikTok could become the next influencer or creator, or even a trendsetter. This short-form video app skyrocketed in such a short period, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Digital Marketing Institute quote, “Putting this into perspective: it took Instagram six years from its launch to gain the same number of monthly active users that TikTok managed to achieve in under three years. And for Facebook to hit the same monthly active users mark, it took the best part of four years.”
TikTok is dynamic and fast-paced, almost every week you would see everyone trying to catch up to the next trend by dancing, lip-syncing and singing to the same dance or song. However, only by being extra creative plus in-trend, you would stand a chance to build your followers and get noticed. This has captured the attention of brands trying to incorporate the trends into their campaigns, hoping it would generate more than just reach.
The problem with this idea is that trends change so fast that brands might not be able to hop on to it so soon, as the lead time to create such content or to engage creators or influencers might be longer. Bigger brands would need to go through certain levels of approvals before releasing the content or engaging with certain influencers, whereas smaller brands would be able to roll out their campaigns faster with a shorter turnover time.
We have seen the potential of TikTok, brands have seen how trends can make a video go viral, and everyone knows what the app offers. The abundance of potential, borderless collaboration and connection gives us the image that it doesn’t seem like it could go wrong. However, we have seen brands trying to jump into trends or create their own trend that goes the opposite direction of a successful campaign. So the question is – should brands jump onto the TikTok bandwagon?
According to studies done by Influencer Marketing Hub, quote “TikTok has considerably more engagement than either of the other two networks at all follower levels”. TikTok’s advanced and highly personalized algorithm fuels the “For You” page with content that’s based on users’ activities on the application. This means that the content shown is highly relevant to each user. From this, we can learn that brands can try to incorporate trends into their campaigns by making their content more targeted, could be by engaging with the right influencer who has the audience that matches the campaign’s target audience. The keyword would be “Relevance”. We often associate the word “trend” with “reach”, because with trends videos could go viral reaching thousands of users, gathering millions of views, likes and comments. However, brands should favor relevance over reach.
Brands normally would tie into what’s in-trend for the masses and hope it would work for their campaigns achieving similar outcomes.
Instead of creating content you assume your audience wants, try to focus on giving them what they actually want. Look for the right messages to communicate and convey to your audience. Be selective with the trends and choose those that are relevant to your campaign.
Embracing the right trend and incorporating it into your campaigns can ultimately add value to your brands and helps you stay at the top of your audience’s mind.
TikTok is based on a short-form video concept but is much broader in scope. Over the years, the app has increased its video duration, allowing creators to tell a better story in their videos and deliver more value by providing more useful information. Slowly, creators can now build a deeper connection with their audience through live, shortening the gap between creators and their audience giving an image that they are interacting directly with creators in ‘close proximity’.
Besides short and long form video formats, TikTok introduced Story videos lasting up to 15 seconds that are visible for 24 hours. It’s a great way for creators to connect with their audiences and share more about their day-to-day life. Recently, they have successfully turned TikTok entertainment into shoppertainment by introducing their e-commerce feature – TikTok Shop, allowing users to shop from in-feed videos and live without leaving the app.
As TikTok is evolving and introducing more features to its application, it might feel intimidating for brands to hop on to it but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking advantage of the momentum created by its millions of active users with relevant trend in order to gain more awareness and better engagement, brand can now experiment with TikTok Shop to archive more conversion.
Trends break boundaries across the market and put forward new ideas and opportunities. However, it’s important to look for trends or topics that resonate with your brand’s core audience.